How to Convert Roof Pitch to Angle


Roof pitch is a measurement of how far down a roof drops for every unit of distance it extends. The term "pitch" refers to a grade or slope. This pitch must often be converted to a measure of degrees to allow for remodeling of the roof or as a unit to help determine the size of the roof. Regions that incur large amounts of snowfall or rain are often required to have minimum pitches according to local building codes to ensure that the house is safe.

Things You'll Need

  • Scientific calculator
  • Convert the pitch of the roof to a decimal number. Pitch is often given in a fractional form, such as, "3/5" or "1/2." Dividing the top number by the bottom number in the scientific calculator allows for easier manipulation of the value, as many calculators do not accept numbers in a fractional form.

  • Record the decimal simplification given by the calculator to 4 digits past the decimal point.

  • Clear the calculator of any value.

  • Press the "Arctangent" button. This button is labeled on the calculator as "Arctan," "Atan" or "Tan^-1." An arctangent command will appear with parenthesis on the calculator screen.

  • Type the decimal approximation you recorded in Step 2 between the parenthesis and press the "Enter" key. The value returned is the angle of the roof measure in degrees.

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